Two Hearts, One Soul

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Chapter 7

They entered the meeting room to find his parents, Stuart and William gathered around the table with someone she didn’t know. The men all stood up when she came in but Matt told them to sit back down. The one she didn’t know was a very large, scary looking man and Sam moved a little bit closer to Matt.

“Sam, this scary looking brute is Francis Green but we call him Frank. He is my head warrior and the only man that can even come close to beating me on the battlefield. Frank, this my mate, Samantha.” Matt said, as the huge man stood up and towered over Sam. He had a big scar running down the side of his face and several across his chest and stomach, which is what made him look so scary but his overall size was also very intimidating. He stood several inches taller than Matt but otherwise they were built very much the same.

“Hello Luna. It is very nice to meet you. Please don’t hesitate to call on me if you ever need anything.” Frank said in a voice that surprised Sam as he took her hand and leaned over it in a courtly way. He was very soft spoken for such a large man and had a warm honey voice and gentle touch.

“Thank you, Frank. It’s very nice to meet you too.” Sam said shyly. He released her hand and Matt led her to the head of the table where there was an empty seat next to Natalie on his right side.

“Frank is a bit of a playboy and a horrendous flirt but he’s actually just a big teddy bear.” Natalie teased the big man who “Humphed” at being called him a teddy bear and everyone laughed. “Look if this meeting is just to tease and embarrass me in front of the new Luna, I’m going back to work. I was told I need to get our warriors ready for something, not that they aren’t already.” Frank said, grumpily.

“I’m sorry, Frank. You know I can just never resist teasing you. You are just too easy to ruffle.” Natalie said with a naughty gleam in her eye. She had always liked Frank and enjoyed teasing him.

“And flirting with my mate would be a BIG mistake for anyone.” Matt said. “Ok. Let’s get this meeting over with. Oh before I begin I want to let you know that today is Sam’s birthday. She’s 18 today!”

“Oh wow! Happy Birthday!” Everyone exclaimed, making Sam blush bright red.

“Thank you, everyone. So far this is the best birthday of my life. Thank you all so much for making me feel so welcome.” Sam smiled at all of them.

“Oh we definitely have to go shopping now. What is your favorite food, Sam? I’ll ask the cook to make you something really special for dinner tonight.” Natalie said.

“Oh, mom. I was going to take Sam to town for dinner. You can have your celebration tomorrow night, can’t you?” Matt said.

“Sure. I guess. This is a birthday that doesn’t have to last just one day. It’s a very special birthday and you should get to celebrate it for the whole weekend. But I do insist on taking her shopping today. She can’t go on her first date with her new mate dressed like that! So hurry up, guys. Let’s get this meeting over with.” Natalie said, giving Matt an intense look.

Before he began, he linked everyone to tell them to keep their emotions at whatever Sam had to tell them under control and to not react in disgust or anger. “Do not upset her today.” he linked to them. “Fine. So dad, what did the council have to say?” Matt asked and the meeting began.

“Well, I talked to councilman Jameson this morning and he informed me that there have been reports of the Red Moon pack being cruel to members of the pack. They have had many reports in the past couple of years from other packs of loners and sometimes whole families showing up on their land asking for asylum from the cruelty of the leaders of the Red Moon pack.

They sent someone down to investigate but they reported back that they couldn’t prove that anything was wrong. They said they talked to several pack members, some of them seemed nervous to talk but none admitted to anything being wrong. They said that both the Alpha and the Beta, who they admit the Beta seemed to be the one in charge, were both very personable and allowed them access to anything they requested. They had no evidence so there was nothing they could do about it.” Richard replied.

“Sam, do you remember anyone ever coming to the pack house to ask questions?” Matt asked.

“Anytime there were guests in the house I was usually locked in my closet. I was not allowed to be seen or to speak with anyone but the household staff and only to communicate what was necessary for my duties.” Sam replied.

Everyone had to fight to control their outrage but had a feeling that much worse was about to come.

Richard took a deep breath and then continued. “The council will want to meet with Sam and Sam, they will need to see your back and hear anything you can tell them about the Red Moon pack and your theories about how your father and the Alpha Glass were killed. If they deem her story believable and she can convince them, they will send out a team to remove him as leader of the pack and he will be jailed and punished accordingly. Are you OK with that, Sam?”

“Yes, sir. I may have taken it the most and the worst that I know of those who survived but I’m not the only one he takes out his rage on. He cut off one of cook Betty’s fingers because she didn’t make something the way he wanted one night. She apologized over and over again but he just grabbed a butcher knife and cut her little finger off anyway.” Sam related. “Did you tell him about the girls he brings in as breeders?” She asked.

“Do you think he’s kidnapping these girls? Are they humans or werewolves?” Richard asked.

“My guess is they are human since they were always tied with ropes, not chains. Many of them were as young as me and that has been going on for the past couple of years, since many of the un-mated females either ran or were killed. Most of the mated males took their mates and families and left. It’s mostly un-mated males now except for the household staff and most of the maids live in constant fear of being raped. I made sure to do my duties after everyone was out of the house and either on patrol or on the training field, otherwise I stayed locked in my closet.

The night before I ran away, I overheard my cousin Ralph and some of his buddies talking about me. Ralph said he was going to get permission to make me a breeder and then laughed because he said I was too skinny for him to want to be with me. But his friends said they didn’t care so long as they could have sex.” Sam was blushing bright red as she finished her story but Matt leaned over and squeezed her hand and Natalie put her hand on her back to comfort her.

“OK guys, I think that is enough, at least for today. Today is her birthday and putting her through this is no way for her to have to spend it.” Natalie said. Her stomach was churning in disgust at what the Red Moon pack must have put this tiny, charming girl through and personally she couldn’t stand to hear anymore of it.

“Alright mom. We’ll continue this another time. Why don’t you take Sam into town and get her something pretty to wear for tonight? I’ve got some things I need to do here or I would go with you. Is that OK with you, Sam?” Matt said. He too felt disgusted by what she had told them but he needed to talk things over with his men and his father. It was tearing his heart out to listen to all of this without punching holes in everything.

“Sure. I haven’t been shopping since my mom took me for school clothes when I was 11 and going into middle school in the 6th grade.” Sam said happily. She was very eager to get her some clothes that fit properly so that everyone would stop looking at her with pity in their eyes.

Matt walked them to the door and he linked his mother to find her at least one outfit with an open back so that she wouldn’t have to remove her shirt completely to show the council her scars. Natalie nodded that she understood and turned away so that Matt could kiss Sam goodbye.

Matt pulled Sam close and kissed her gently. “I’m sorry you had to relive those memories today of all days. You go and have fun with my mom. Buy lots of pretty things to wear and come back hungry. I’ll take you to any restaurant you want to go to when you get back. And I have something special planned for later. A big surprise.” Matt smiled down at her.

“OK. Oh Matt, how can I ever thank you enough?” Sam smiled back at him.

“OH, I’ll think of something.” He chuckled and wiggled his eyebrows at her, causing her to giggle that musical sound that he loved to hear. “Now go before I take you up stairs and ravish you.” He teased her.

“Oh, really? Promises, promises.” She teased right back and Matt’s eyebrows shot up in surprise. She quickly pecked him one more time then slipped out of his arms and ran towards Natalie and called over her shoulder. “I’ll hold you to that, my love.”

“Bet on it!” He called after her as the two women stepped into the elevator.

“Are we going to have enough time to go shopping and get back before dinner time?” Sam asked as the doors of the elevator closed behind her.

“Oh yes. Missoula is only about an hour from here and they have some nice shops where we can get things we need. Although you are going to need everything since all you came to us in was a ragged old tank top and some shorts that I think were actually boys boxers at one time and someone just sewed the front closed. Was that all you were allowed to wear while you were there?” Natalie asked.

“I had to be on top of it to get the pick of the disposal box but I had to take whatever I could get. The bedroom maids usually got the best stuff because they were given it to dispose of. My best outfit was a pair of khaki pants and a t-shirt without holes in it that almost fit me but they got shredded when I had to shift to get away from Ralph and his buddies that first day. The shorts and tank top I had tied around my leg as back up.

I wasn’t allowed to have anything with pockets because I got caught stealing food. I just wanted to taste meat again and sneaked a piece from the buffet table. That was the first time Uncle Lou ever hit me with the strap. I got kicked out of the kitchen for it too and had to start being the laundry maid. Man, am I glad to be out of that place.” Sam said with feeling.

“I’m kind of surprised that they haven’t reported you missing and gave up looking for you so easily, at least we hope so. Matt would turn the world upside down looking for you, if you were to go missing.” Natalie said as she collected her purse and led the way out to her car. They climbed inside the late model SUV and took off for Missoula.

“I usually do most of my shopping online but that takes time for it to be delivered and you need clothes now. You can order more stuff later but we’ll get you enough today to hold you until you can get things shipped here.”

“I’ve never used a computer before. I wouldn’t have a clue how to do that.” Sam was embarrassed to admit it.

“Well, Teddy or Kate can help you with that. They are both wizards on the computer. I know some but they are much better at it than me.” Natalie said.

After the women left, Matt returned to the meeting room and all of the guys looked at each other and Frank was the one to say “When do we leave?” William nodded in agreement and even the level headed Stuart had to agree but he also agreed with Richard that they needed to keep their heads, not do anything stupid and give the council a chance to take care of things legally.

“I think when they see her back and hear what she has to say, they will have to take action. If they don’t then we’ll go after them on our own. In the meantime, I think we should do reconnaissance. Bring up satellite images of the area and see what we are up against. It also wouldn’t hurt to send someone in under false pretenses to scope out their security systems and whatever else they can find. Maybe under the pretense of mate hunting?” Richard suggested and looked over at Stuart, who set up in his chair and replied.

“Hey, if Sam is an example of the women they have to offer, I’m game.” Stuart said and Frank lifted his hand and said “Me too!”

Richard, Matt and William laughed at them. “Let’s do some research and see what we are up against. I’ll talk to Sam later about un-mated females. I don’t want to risk your necks for nothing.” Matt said and linked Teddy to come to the meeting room.

“Do we know anything about surrounding packs?” Matt asked.

Richard replied. “The council told me that there are only two packs within easy distance from the Red Moon pack. The Blue Eagle pack and the Oak Forest pack. Neither of them are very large and stick pretty much to themselves. It’s amazing to me that we don’t know these packs that live so close to us. When this is all over, we need to have a gathering and get to know these smaller packs.”

“Sounds good dad. Maybe we can do it as part of the Luna ball? I want to give Sam time to get comfortable and we will announce her to the rest of the pack privately and then hold a ball and introduce her to our allies and invite a few packs in the state. The council only gets invited if they back us up on this.”

Just then Teddy arrived and knocked on the door. Matt called out for him to come in. As soon as he was inside and seated, they gave him the breakdown of what they needed him to do. Teddy pulled his laptop out of the bag he had been carrying and opened it up. He brought up the area where they thought the Red Moon pack was located. Teddy broadened the search area until he finally spotted the complex that they suspected was the pack house and grounds.

“OK, now zoom in and let’s see what it looks like.” Stuart said.

Teddy said “wait a minute and let me get you a bigger picture. Turn on the TV, please.” Teddy stood up and attached an HDMI cable between the TV and his laptop. Within seconds they had a large picture of the entire site so that they didn’t have to crowd around the small screen of the laptop.

“Man, I wish Sam was here and could tell us what we are looking at. Man this place looks like shit. They obviously don’t spend a lot of time or money on upkeep of the property. Is this real time?” Matt said.

“This picture was taken 3 months ago.” Teddy answered. He moved something and suddenly the picture was ground level and it was as if they were driving up to the pack house in a car. Teddy moved the mouse around and it was as if they were walking the property, which was really in need of some maintenance. It looked like the grass was only mowed right up next to the house, except for a large area around the back which must be their training grounds. All of the other open areas to the tree line were overgrown and knee deep in weeds.

They looked around as much as possible but couldn’t really tell much without someone to identify the buildings and what they were used for. All that they could really tell for sure was that the property was not being taken care of. Teddy scanned out and they all noticed a small area where there had been a contained fire. “A bonfire?” Stuart guessed.

“In the woods like that? I don’t think so. Looks like there have been others too. Look over there. Look how square the burn mark is. It’s almost like someone dug a pit and filled it with logs then set them on fire.” Frank said. He had a creepy feeling that he knew what it was but wanted more information before he speculated. He would ask Sam the next time she came to talk to them.

“Weird.” William said as Teddy navigated around the area.

“Zoom out a little more, Teddy.” Matt said. He was looking for the gas station where Sam said she had jumped out of the back of the grocery truck when he stopped for gas. Finally he spotted what he was looking for. “There! I think that must be where she jumped out of the back of that truck and started running. She said she had to stick to the trees or fields.”

“So at least we can be pretty sure we found the right pack location. Save that location to your laptop. We’ll need to go back to it tomorrow when Sam can be here.” Richard said.

“Will do.” Teddy said as he saved the location to his favorites and then out of curiosity he zoomed out to where he could see both their’s and the area they had been looking at together. “Dang! You mean to tell me that tiny little woman walked all that way alone? How long did it take her? A couple of months?”

All of the men stared at the screen in amazement. For her to have stayed in the tree lines and away from inhabited areas she would have had to travel almost two hundred miles of zig zagging back and forth to get to their pack lands.

Frank’s stomach rumbled and everyone laughed. “Hey, I didn’t have breakfast this morning. I’m hungry.”

Richard looked at his watch and said “Well, it is lunch time. I vote we adjourn until tomorrow and go get some food.”

“Sounds good to me.” Matt agreed and they all left the meeting room and headed downstairs. Matt couldn’t help but wonder how the women were doing and if they were on their way back yet.

Natalie took Sam to Ross’s and they found some really nice dresses with shoes to match. Natalie insisted she get several. “You’ll need them for more than just tonight.” They found some cute casual outfits as well as nightgowns, underwear and bras. Sam chose to wear one of the outfits for the rest of the shopping trip. Natalie realized just how skinny she was and didn’t force her to agree to buy a whole lot since hopefully she was going to gain some weight now that she could eat whatever she wanted when she wanted.

Next they went to Old Navy and she got jeans and some really nice tops to go with them. She took her to several other stores where they got her things like brushes, combs and other hair accessories and a couple of purses, even though Sam didn’t have anything to carry in them yet. Natalie told her that that situation would not last long. She knew that Matt would make sure that she had not only money for the wallet she chose but credit cards and a cell phone.

“I guess you don’t know how to drive?” Natalie asked as they drove to a small diner for lunch.

“No way. This is the first time I’ve been in a car since my mom drove me to school the day my dad was killed. I was only 12 years old and my dad’s car wasn’t as nice as this one. Is it hard to do?” Sam asked shyly.

“Goodness, no! I’ll teach you and then you can get your driver’s license and Matt will get you your own car.” Natalie smiled at her.

It was after lunch time and both of them were hungry so they decided to stop at the edge of town for lunch at a small local diner that Natalie and some of the other pack wife’s enjoyed when they came in to shop. They had just ordered their food when Natalie got an uneasy feeling that they were being followed and watched. She perked up her wolf hearing and overheard two men talking. “We’ve been scouring the woods for hundreds of miles and she’s sitting right over there. I don’t know who the beauty is sitting next to her but we’re only here for Sam. The other one looks older but she is breedable age so that would be a bonus. Let’s just wait until they are outside where there are fewer eyes.” They discussed back and forth as they tried to be discreet about watching them.

“Sam, I don’t want to scare you and don’t turn around too fast. Just pretend you are checking out the place but when I tell you to, look over your right shoulder and tell me if those two men look familiar.” Natalie whispered. “Ok, look now.”

As discreetly as she could, Sam slowly looked around and tried to act like she was just looking at the decor but when she spotted Ralph and his friend, Steven, she whipped her head back and her eyes were huge when she looked back at Natalie.

“Oh, my God, Natalie! They’ve found me. What do we do?” Sam whispered. She felt like she was going to be sick and began to shake.

“First of all, we don’t panic. They won’t try anything here. Too many witnesses. I’m going to call home and tell them what is going on. We made it here in less than an hour. When Matt finds out we are in trouble, he’s going to break the sound barrier to get to us.” Natalie said as she pulled her cell phone out of her bag. She called home and one of the maids answered.

“Sharon, it’s Luna Natalie. Get Matt for me quick! It’s an emergency.” Natalie told her. Natalie heard her put down the phone and her footsteps running away as Sharon yelled for Alpha Matt. A few seconds later Matt picked up and asked “Mom? What’s wrong?”

“Matt, we’re in the diner on the edge of Missoula. There are two men from Sam’s pack here. I think they’ve been following us.” Natalie said quietly.

“Call the cops, mom. I’ll be there as fast as I can. Is Sam OK?” Matt asked.

“She’s scared but she’s fine. They haven’t approached us yet.” Natalie said. “Please hurry Matt.”

“Ok. Mom. We’re coming!” Matt said and hung up the phone. When he turned around his father, Stuart, William and Frank were all standing behind him, waiting to hear what was wrong.

“Some of Sam’s pack is after them. They are in the diner on the edge of Missoula. I told her to stay put and to call the cops but we need to get to them as fast as possible. I can run there faster than you can drive because I won’t have to follow the road but get there as fast as you can and bring me clothes. Mom said she only saw two of them but that doesn’t mean there aren’t more outside.” Matt said as he began to strip as he walked through the house. He ran out the back door, grabbed a pair of shorts and finished stripping and tied them around his leg.

Richard followed him and did the same. Matt looked at him. “If they will hurt a member of their own family, there’s nothing to stop them from hurting my wife. I’m going with you.” Richard said, leaving no room for argument. Both men shifted and took off running across the property. They used their alpha speed and were on the outskirts of Missoula in under 20 minutes. They shifted right outside of town and pulled on their shorts. They stuck to the backs of the buildings as they made their way to the diner that was located on the edge of town. When they couldn’t go any farther without being noticed, they stopped to think about what they were going to do next.

“We certainly didn’t think this through very well, did we? How are we going to get to the girls without anyone seeing us? We are definitely going to stand out here walking around in our underwear. If we even try, we are going to end up arrested for indecent exposure.” Richard said.

Matt looked around and spotted a goodwill bin next to a convenience store across the road.

“Look. Maybe we can find something in there to wear.” Matt said pointing across the street.

“Good. Let’s backtrack a bit and then cross the street. There are too many windows around here.” Richard said and pulled on his son’s arm as he turned and headed back the way they had come. They ran several yards down and then crossed the road using their alpha speed. To anyone that was looking they would have appeared as fuzzy blurs.

They made their way to the good will bin and quickly rummaged through the clothes until they found things they could somewhat fit into, which was a real challenge for Matt and the large muscles on his arms. The only pants he could get on were huge around the waist but he just barely managed to get them over his thick muscular thighs. He found a pink ladies belt and pulled it through the loops and pulled it as tight as he could then tied the ends around his narrow waist.

“If you ever tell anyone I will never speak to you again, Dad.” Matt said, when his father laughed and teased him saying “Oh you look so sweet!”

They couldn’t find any shoes but that didn’t matter. They took off running for the diner and ran right inside. They found Natalie and Sam sitting with two patrol officers having coffee and waiting for them at a table at the back of the restaurant. The officers gave them strange looks but both women jumped up and ran to them as soon as they saw them coming. Matt and Richard both wrapped their arms tightly around them and held them close as they asked.

“Are you two OK? Where are those men?” Matt asked as he looked over his mom to make sure she was ok as well.

The two officers joined them and answered the last question. “They had not approached the ladies yet so there was nothing we could do to them. They both left when they saw us talking to your wives. We decided to stay and make sure they didn’t come back after we left until you could get here. Is it um laundry day at your house?” the larger of the two officers asked, not realizing that he was pushing his luck until he saw Matt’s eyes flash gold for just a second.

“Something like that.” Matt almost growled.

“Hey, just kidding man. Well, now that you ladies are safe, we’d better get back to patrol. It was very nice meeting you.” The officer said holding up one hand and resting his other on his weapon.

“Come on, let’s go home.” Richard said and everyone agreed. The women collected their purses and then they all left the restaurant. Just as they reached the sidewalk outside, Stuart, William and Frank pulled up in two SUV’s. They all breathed sighs of relief that the Luna’s were OK and now safe but they all started laughing when they saw how the Alpha’s were dressed. Thankfully the windows of the SUV were tinted and they all managed to stop laughing as William rolled down the driver’s side window.

“Everyone OK?” William asked and could barely keep the smirk off his face. “Where are the men?”

“We’re fine, William. The men ran away when they saw the police. Cowards. Let’s go home. We’re done shopping for today. We’ll follow you.” Natalie said, then linked the three of them to tell them that if they enjoyed breathing, they had better never tell anyone about how her husband and son were dressed right now. All three of them replied. “Yes ma’am.”

Natalie followed her husband, son and daughter in law back to her car and Richard got behind the wheel so she got in the passenger side. Matt climbed into the back and pulled Sam onto his lap and held her firmly. Sam was still shaking slightly. The sight of her cousin and his friend had scared her badly.

“Maybe we shouldn’t go out anywhere tonight. Let’s just stay home, please?” Sam whispered to Matt as they drove away from Missoula.

“Are you sure? I wanted to make today special for you. I’ll be with you now. No one will get to you while I’m around.” Matt whispered back.

“They were carrying guns, Matt. I don’t know about all of them but Ralph keeps silver bullets in his. It would kill me if he shot you. No, we can go out some other time when this is all over. I just found you. I don’t want to take a chance on losing you for something so trivial as a birthday dinner. No matter how special it is.” Sam whispered as she clung to him.

“Ok babe. We’ll just have a private dinner in our apartment. OK?” Matt said. He didn’t tell her about his plans to take her to the carnival. She was right. There were going to be other, safer times for them to go on special dates. Her safety was his number one priority.

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